About Russian nationalism by Ivan Ilyin
As we look forward into the distance and see the future of Russia, we see it as a national state, which protects and serves Russian national culture. After a long break, after the painful failure of the international communist – Russia will return to it’s free self-assertion, and find it’s common instinct of self-preservation, to reconcile it’self to it’s spiritual well-being and begin a new period advancing toward it’s historical peak.
For the last thirty years the Russian people suffered humiliation, and it seems they have no end in sight. For Thirty years they have been trampled by dark and criminal people who have had their hands in and on the people’s pockets and altars, forbidding them to pray, mistreating the best people – the most faithful, the most persistent, the bravest and the patriotic – inhibiting the people’s freedom, distorting their spiritual countenance, squandering their property, ruining it, decomposing their state, taking from them the free labor and free inspiration … For thirty years treating them as if they were deprived of national dignity, national spirit and national instinct. These years of violence and shame will not pass in vain: the national body can not be denied health,” – it will break through to them at all costs, you can not deprive the people of spiritual self-esteem – these attempts only awaken a new awareness and a new force. What is going
through the Russian people – there is a strict and lengthy learning process, a living school of mental purification, humility and sobriety. This first awakening, perhaps, may be passionate, excessive and even violent, but the future will bring us a new Russian nationalism with its true strength and its true extent. This nationalism we must now speak out and draw.
In contrast to every internationalism, which is sentimental and fierce- we say Russian nationalism opposes any kind of denationalization. It takes the domestic and political, instinctual and spiritual, confesses it and raises it to God.
We welcome its revival. We rejoice in it’s spirituality and it’s originality. And we consider it precious to the Russian people who did not associate themselves with any kind of internationalist “sympathy” and “commitment.”
Each nation has a national instinct, given to him by nature (and that means – and of God), and the gifts of the Spirit is poured into it from the Creator in every way. And every instinct and spirit of the people live in their own way and create precious uniqueness. This Russian peculiarity we should cherish, cherish it, live in it and create from it: it was given to us from time immemorial, in the embryo, and the disclosure of it was given to us throughout our history. Revealing it, carrying it, we fulfill our historic mission, and to deny it, we have neither the right nor the desire. For any kind of national identity in its own way contains the Spirit of God and a nation’s praise of the Lord.
Every nation, has it’s own way treating things, of giving birth, getting sick, dying, working, farming and leisure, all have their own way of grieving, crying, getting angry and despairing, of smiling, joking, laughing and having joy, in their own walks and dances, sings in their own way and creates music, in its own way says, declaims, jokes and oratory, in their own watches, contemplates and creates paintings, in their own studies, learns, thinks and argues, in their own begging, shows charity and hospitality, in its own way builds houses and monasteries. In their own way pray and understands heroism … lifts up their spirit and repents. In its own organized way. Each nation has its own particular sense of right and justice, a different character, a different discipline, different view of the moral ideal, of family life, a different religion and different political dream, and state instinct. In short, every nation has a different, special way of
peace, spiritual life and creative act.
Such is the nature and of history. So much in instinct and spirit. So we were all given by God. This is good. This is beautiful. Various herbs and flowers in the field. Different trees and clouds. Rich and beautiful garden of God; abundant forms, colors and types of shine, shines, and pleased with the variety …
And that all things and all people and all nations – are right. And each nation ought – to be, and show off, and to glorify God in their own way. And in this very diversity and polyphony is singing and praise to the Creator, and you have to be spiritually blind and deaf not to comprehend this.
That is why the idea is to repay manifold praises, to abolish the wealth of historical garden of God, to reduce everything to a dead likeness and uniformity, for equality of sand, to indifference after already brightening up the difference in the world can only be born in a spiritually dead, sick soul. This flat and banal chimera, this atheistic idea is a product of rational souls, angry and jealous – still tends whether this chimera aggressively crush all nations under one nation (chimera of German National Socialism), or dissolve all national cultures in colorless and formless chimera of Soviet communism. In any case, this ugly chimera in which extreme nationalism converge with extreme internationalism – non-Russian in origin, as, indeed, the whole of nihilism is non-Christian in origin, as, indeed, the whole of egalitarianism.
Christianity brought the world the idea of a personal, immortal soul, independent of their gift, to their responsibility and their vocation, Especially in their sins and deeds and amateur in contemplation, love and prayer – that is, the idea of the metaphysical identity of the person. And so the idea of metaphysical identity of the people is only true and consistent development of the Christian understanding, Christ alone in the universe. It’s not for the Jews only, and not only to the Greeks, and his gospel is to the Greeks and the Jews, but it means that God recognized and called upon all nations, each in its place, with its own language and with their gifts (Acts srv.. 2. 1-42, I. Corinthians 1-31).
St. Seraphim of Sarov once expressed the view that God cares about each person as if he were the only one with Him. This is said of the individual man. What should we think about an individual nation? – that it is rejected and condemned by God? Each lily God clothes with beautiful garments, every bird of the air He feeds and nourishes. The hairs falling from a human head are counted, and the peculiarity of people’s lives, come from Him. The praise of a nation that He created, do you think He rejects? ..
Throughout history, all the culture, all the work and every nation singing their national songs serve God as best they can, and those people who are creative and inspired become great and spiritually lead their nations in history.
So, nationalism is a confident and strong feeling that my people also received gifts of the Holy Spirit that the nation hast taken them and creatively implemented them in their own way, that his strength is abundant and is designed to further the creative achievements and that is why a people befits a cultural pledge of greatness” (Pushkin) and the independence of the state of being.
Therefore, nationalism is primarily manifested in the national instinct of self-preservation, and this instinct is true and justified. You should not be ashamed of it, it makes sense in the face of God who spiritually justifies and elevates its manifestation. This instinct is not to sleep in the soul of the people, but to watch. Nationalism is not “beyond good and evil,” on the contrary, it is subject to the laws of goodness and spirit. It must have its manifestation in love, sacrifice, courage, and wisdom, and a nation ought to have it’s celebrations, their joys, their sorrows and their prayers. A nation must be born of the national unity in all its instinctive “bee” and “ant”.